Ragged but right.
This is very much a 1970 performance, which carries with it certain connotations. There are segments of beautifully inspired, creative, off the cuff playing mixed with stretches of fast, loud, but fairly standard playing that’s more of a reversion to muscle memory. There’s sound adjustments, tuning, and friendly stage banter, with a cut or two in the recording. The boys sound like they could use some rest from the last few days’ events, but they’re such road warriors that they still throw together a really nice show.
I wouldn’t say it’s as focused or transcendent as other shows from January/February 1970, and as such it’s not as famous as the Hawaii run or Fillmore East classics. I think the night before probably tops it just for having some acoustic material. All that being said, this is still a gritty display of Louisiana Dead, a Bear product that fans of 1970 are sure to enjoy immensely. The highlights for me are the golden, buttery, and wonderfully original jam bridging China Cat Sunflower into I Know You Rider, the nifty guitar solo in Black Peter, the gnarly That’s It for the Other One, and a monstrous Turn on Your Lovelight. Lovelight actually opens up about 40 seconds worth of majestic, trippy Space between 27:40
and 28:20, leaving the Warehouse completely silent in awe before they let out a cheer, spurring the band to rip right back to King Pigpen’s rowdy domain.